Lombardy Maps & Travel Guide
You know Lombardia as the Lake region, but it's much more

Lombardy, or Lombardia in Italian, is one of those regions of Italy like Liguria whose existence is nearly unknown while its charms are enjoyed by many. The tourist might come to Lombardy for the vaunted lakes that spread across its center: Maggiore, Como, Iseo, and Garda. It is a rich and populous region. Italy's second city, Milan, lies within its borders.

Then there's the hidden Lombardia. The world's richest collection of prehistoric petroglyphs, over 140,000 artworks, are squeezed into a valley north of Lago d'Iseo near the town of Capo di Ponte (see the location on the map below). The collection of rock art in the Valcamonica was Italy's first UNESCO World heritage site, named way back in 1979.

Prefer the odd to the historic? Just a hop, skip and jump (or boat ride) from the city of Montova is one of the most interesting churches we've set eyes upon. There's a Crocodile hanging from the rafters, and that's just the start of it.

Map of Lombardy

lombardy map

Getting Your Bearings

Lombardy stretches from Switzerland in the north to Emilia Romagna on the south. The autostrada A4 runs east-west through the region. The high speed Torino to Trieste rail line parallels the autostrada. European long distance buses are also a possibility if your next destination is a big city out of the region: Discover Europe by Bus.

Milan to Venice by train or bus

It is 114 miles or 183 km from Brescia to Venice. Train times from Brescia to Venice average a little over 2 hours. The fastest train takes 1 hour and 22 minutes.

It is 58 miles/98 kilometers driving distance from Milan to Brescia.

A Taste of Lombardy: UNESCO World Heritage Sites

sicilian balcony

Mantua & the Palazzo del Te

Federico II Gonzaga tapped Giulio Romano, a pupil of Rafael, to build a pleasure palace for him away from the din of central Mantua. The giants and grotesques of the Sala die Giganti will astound and amaze you. Check out: Mantua and the Erotic Art of the Palazzo del Te.

modica sicily chocolates

Sabbioneta

Just south of Mantua is the town called Sabbioneta, founded by Vespiano Gonzaga in the 16th century. It's listed as the perfect example of Renaissance urban planning. Shown is a guide pointing out the nuances of the Teatro all'antica designed by Vincenzo Scamozzi.

sicilian carts

Duomo di Milano

Dramatic? Informative? Yes, climb (or take the elevator) to the top of Milan's cathedral for a gargoyle extravaganza; there are 135 of the drain demons. When the weather is good, you may wish to go at night and skip the lines with this Evening Rooftop tour from Viator.

Milan's Top Attractions

Milan--Milano in Italian--was once shunned by tourists, who left the city after glancing at the Duomo and the Last Supper. Today Italy's second city has made its comeback and seems to be on everyone's list of top destinations. And the top 2 attractions haven't changed.

  • Duomo di Milano: The massive Gothic cathedral took nearly six centuries to complete, and if you walk around the outside perimeter you can see why; the carvings are detailed and quite amazing.
  • The Last Supper: Da Vinci's defining work is located in the refectory next to the Church of Santa Maria delle Grazie, a 15 minute walk from the Duomo. The work suffered abuse over centuries before being restored in 1999, at which time it lost the gaudy colors of previous restorations. The is a place where you might want tickets in advance, since the attraction is so very popular. It's closed on Mondays. Viator has a number of Last Supper tours you can purchase in advance.
  • Sforza Castle: Smack in the heart of Milan, the castle hosts many museums. Michelangelo's last sculpture is there, the Rondanini Pietà. There's also the Museum of Ancient Art, a collection of musical instruments, and the Egyptian and prehistoric sections of the Archeology Museum.
  • La Scala: Without doubt one of Italy's top opera houses, Teatro alla Scala opened in 1778 and was renovated in 2004. If seeing an opera is the one thing you want to do in Milano before you move on, Select Italy offers an Opera Package with 2 nights in a nearby hotel and tickets included.
  • Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II: built in 1867, the Galleria is a huge glass-roofed shopping arcade lined with elegant shops, bars, and restaurants that links the squares of the Duomo and La Scala. For good luck, find the bull of Turin and stand on his testicles. He won't mind. Much.
  • Pinacoteca di Brera: Art lovers with enjoy wandering through Milan's top art museum, containing over 600 important works from the 14th through the 20th centuries including works by top artists such as Raphael, Piero della Francesca, and Bellini. As if that wasn't enough, the museum is housed in a 11th century convent.
  • Milano Centrale Train Station: Milano Centrale is one of the most important transportation hubs in Europe. The 24 platforms are spanned by a single dome; 600 trains per day depart from here. It opened to the public in 1864, but what you see today is mainly due to revisions in the stations design in 1931 by Mussolini. Free wifi and plenty of shops are available inside.

Milan 48 Hour Sightseeing Pass Milan Hotels and Apartments Milan Hostels Eat at the home of a home chef in Milan

Milan Views

agrigento sicily temple of concorde

Teatro alla Scala

ragusa sicily

Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II

scicli sicily

Inside Sforza Castle

The Lakes

The most popular lake in Lombardy's lake region is undoubtedly Lake Come, Lago di Como. It's easy to get to Como from Milan. If you stay in the town of Como, you can visit the other towns via ferry. A more "romantic" destination is Bellagio, a short ferry ride from Como.

For detailed information on Como, see Martha's Italy: Lake Como Travel Guide.

Compare prices on Lake Como Hotels

If you'd like a small lake surrounded by history, a tranquil place nearly undiscovered by American tourists, you might want to check out Lake Iseo, lago di Iseo. Just north are the rock art sites of the beautiful Valcamonica.

Compare prices on Lake Iseo Hotels

Towers and Violins: Cremona

If you are a music lover, and the name Stradivarius sends you heart aflutter, you will want to visit Cremona. It's full of violin makers to this day, and the new Museo del Violino, the violin museum, is quite impressive. But the fun doesn't end there! The main square is rimmed by an amazing collection of architectural gems. The Romanesque cathedral, baptistery, and Torrazzo (tower, the tallest in pre-modern Europe at 112.7 meters, and you can climb it for some fantastic views) are all facing the administration center, the Comune--and, of course, a bar with free internet where you can sit and admire it all. Cremona also features some unique food. We recommend a meal at La Sosta.

cremona duomo and bell tower

Cremona Hotels Cremona Hostels

Eat Well in Lombardy

The provinces surrounding the cities of Mantova, Cremona, Brescia, and Bergamo have been named a European Region of Gastronomy in 2017. From the sinus-clearing mostarda of Cremona to the pike in green sauce of Mantova, you'll find some interesting "Italian" food in the region.

Airports in Lombardy

Lombardy has three major airports, of which two are near Milan. Milano Malpensa is the large international airport. Closer to the city is the smaller and less confusing Milano Linate airport. Orio al Serio airport, also known as Il Caravaggio International Airport, is near Bergamo.

Lombardy Weather and Climate

Time to visit the lake region is the late spring into early fall. The depth of these lakes provides a cooling influence especially after the sun goes down, so there are nice evenings even during the warm days. For example, see the historic climate charts for Como to choose the best time to go to the Lake region.

Milan's climate charts show a different story. It can get hot in on summer days and it doesn't cool off at night, a reason many Milanese head for the lakes in the warm season.

The normal high temperatures in Lombardy aren't sweltering in any case. The region is just south of Switzerland in northern Italy, so you can be comfortable in summer outside of the major cities.

The Wandering Italy Blog

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